Balthazar Primero, Melchior, Caspar

December 18, 2007 at 2:38 pm (Family)

Today is my father’s birthday.  It was a tradition in my family, since my father was born a week before Christmas (hence his childhood nickname of Joy), to put up the tree on his birthday.  My mother would spend the time making pastelles while we hung ornaments and listened to parang records. As kids, we would bounce back and forth between the living room and the dining room, offering help to each team until we got bored. (Pastelles require a sweatshop, really. And the sad thing is that we never got to eat them the day we made them. We always had half the batch on Christmas and froze the other half for New Year’s).

Since my dad died, the tradition has changed somewhat. For the past two years, we’ve had a real tree thanks to the influence of Basie. Technically, I don’t even live there anymore; so I doubt I’ll be making a contribution to the Christmas preparations. (Bonus, I will be treated as a guest when I visit, which means I can sit on the furniture!) My mother’s been in Florida for the past 2 weeks and I don’t think she’ll be up for Pastelles Sweatshop after her flight this evening.

Today is also Basie’s birthday. So, he and La Belle Helene can start implementing a new Christmas tradition. I suspect it will involve many cookies.

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4 Comments

  1. yoko said,

    Cookies are good. One of Lipby’s coworkers brought in pasteles (not from Trinidad, although I’m not sure where she’s from) for their holiday party. I’ve never tried one, but they sound filling.

  2. Quiconque said,

    Every Caribbean country has its own version of pastelles (pasteles); this often leads to confusion. When my father first tasted a Puerto Rican pastel, he was greatly disappointed.

  3. Ten Feet of Steel said,

    Any black cake this year?

  4. Quiconque said,

    My mother was VERY UPSET that SuperFudge did not buy the fruits for the blackcake yet (to the point that she complained to EVERYONE about it). I expect that black cake will happen, but probably after Christmas, alas.

    There will be black cake at La Belle Helene’s wedding though. So, you’ll get some.

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